This weekend series between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants has given the baseball world one of the weirder altercations we’ve ever seen on a Major League Baseball field.
The story continues to get stranger by the day.
On Friday, benches cleared before the game when the Reds’ Tommy Pham slapped the Giants’ Joc Pederson in the face after a brief discussion in the outfield. Pederson didn’t retaliate, and Pham was removed from the lineup before getting hit with a three-game suspension.
It turned out that the entire confrontation stemmed from a fantasy football dispute about bench-IR etiquette. And on top of that, Pham really took exception to a GIF that Pederson sent mocking the Padres’ collapse back in September. Pham was so upset about the GIF that he slapped Pederson over it eight months later.
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That GIF, according to Pederson, was a weightlifting fail that included a Padres logo along with the Giants and Dodgers. He showed parts of the group chat from his phone to reporters on Saturday. And, of course, baseball fans were able to locate that GIF. It was glorious.
It’s hard to imagine how Pham could have been so upset over that GIF when he doesn’t even play for the Padres anymore. Plus, Pederson sent it as a member of the Braves. Pederson was basically being an average sports fan messing with his friends in a group chat. But a combination of Pham being a terrible sport (and fantasy football player) had him steaming over that GIF for months. Just wild.
Baseball fans did appreciate that they finally got a close-up look at the infamous GIF.